what is cbd oil dushey blog

What Is CBD Oil?

What are CBD Oils and do they work? What are CBD isolates and distillates? We take a look at the different kinds of CBD oil and how it works. 

Cannabidiol, usually known as CBD, is one of many compounds found in the Cannabis plant that is extracted from the leaves, seeds and flowers – usually from the Cannabis Sativa L variety of hemp plants. It can be isolated on its own, or included alongside hundreds of other minor cannabinoids. When combined with carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil, olive oil or MCT oil, it becomes a dark brown oily liquid used as it is, or as an ingredient in CBD products. 

CBD Isolate Vs CBD Distillate

CBD Isolate is usually 99% CBD, with almost all other compounds and cannabinoids removed. This means it is close to pure CBD, which makes it useful as an ingredient to add to other products and allows for high potency CBD content. As almost all other cannabinoids are removed, CBD isolate does not have the ‘earthy’ taste that is usually associated with cannabis extracts and this makes it ideal in consumables and scented products. 

On the other hand, CBD distillate is usually only around 70% CBD. It goes through a heating process (distillation) to remove THC, but maintains all the other minor cannabinoids. This allows for the entourage effect, where the various cannabinoids interact together to create a more effective and potent result. Distillates do contain trace amounts of THC, and can legally contain up to 0.03% THC (which isn’t enough for any psychoactive effects). 

Full Spectrum CBD Vs Broad Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD means the product contains all other cannabinoids, like CBG, CBN, CBD, THCa, CBDa and many more. Full spectrum oils include THC, though usually in race amounts so it can be legally sold in the UK. Including THC in the oil means all the cannabinoid compounds are present, including terpenes and other compounds, allows for the full entourage effect and can lead to increased effectiveness.  

Broad spectrum is similar to full spectrum, except the THC content is removed from the oil. This still leaves minor cannabinoids, like CBG and CBDa, which still allows for the entourage effect though in a less effective way than full spectrum. Broad spectrum can be considered a ‘middle ground’ between full spectrum which contains the full range of cannabis plant compounds, and CBD isolate, which is almost entirely CBD (with less than 1% other cannabinoids). 

What Is The Entourage Effect?

Full and broad-spectrum CBD products, when combined with terpenes (usually responsible for the unique smell of cannabis), can produce what is known as an entourage effect. This means the various compounds, cannabinoids and terpenes work together synergistically to provide a more potent and effective result. This can also help to increase bioavailability as terpenes are lipids which can help break down fat soluble CBD into smaller molecules. 

what is cbd? woman trying cbd oil


What Is Bioavailability?

Bioavailability refers to how much of a substance is able to be absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to the areas of the body that need it. There are many different ways of using CBD, so we’ll compare the benefits and drawbacks of various methods of using CBD and their bioavailability.

How Is CBD Oil Used?

CBD oil can be used in a variety of ways, including ingesting (swallowing), sublingual (aka tinctures, holding the oil under the tongue), intravenous (directly into the bloodstream)topical (through the skin) and inhaling (through the lungs). 

Intravenous & Vaping CBD

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Intravenous methods are the only way to achieve close to 100% bioavailability, but this is not recommended to do yourself and is usually medically administered by a healthcare professional in a lab setting.  

However, a much more accessible and less intrusive way of effectively getting CBD into your body is by inhaling it using a vape (or smoking it), offering around 34-46% bioavailability according to some studies. This is one of the most effective ways to get CBD directly into the bloodstream. 


Using a sublingual method, like tinctures, is a convenient and effective way of absorbing CBD into your bloodstream, offering around 35% bioavailability. It is absorbed by the many blood vessels beneath the tongue and typically takes between half an hour to an hour to take effect. You can use an oral spray or a CBD oil – simply drop it under the tongue and hold it therefore around 2 minutes, then swallow. 

However, a much more accessible and less intrusive way of effectively getting CBD into your body is by inhaling it using a vape (or smoking it), offering around 34-46% bioavailability according to some studies. This is one of the most effective ways to get CBD directly into the bloodstream. 

Ingesting/swallowing CBD

Oral CBD (swallowing gummies, for example) offers 4-20% bioavailability, depending on if you take it on an empty stomach or after a meal. CBD is fat soluble so it is recommended you ingest it after having eaten a high fat meal. It’s not recommended to swallow CBD on an empty stomach as this will drastically reduce its bioavailability and the effects will be minimal. It can take a few hours to take effect as it has to pass through the digestive system and into the liver before making it into the bloodstream. Orally ingesting CBD also means it will last in your system for longer than other methods, typically for over 4 hours. 

Through the skin

Topical application, such as CBD balms and CBD bath bombs, provides the lowest bioavailability as the skin barrier prevents the fat-soluble CBD molecules from being fully absorbed. However, it can still be absorbed locally by the cells rather than entering the bloodstream. This makes it particularly effective for targeting specific areas of the body to reduce inflammation, such as sore joints or muscles after a workout. 

Where Can I Buy CBD Products?

Now you’re up to speed with CBD oils and how they work, head to our website and take a look at our huge variety of CBD products. Whether it’s CBD isolates or distillates, bath bombs or CBD vape liquids, you’re sure to find the perfect CBD product for you and your customers.

Dushey Wholesale CBD Small Transparent Logo Black Text